Sunday, June 25, 2017

At the end of the day, faith is a funny thing (the end of an era at UMMC)

"At the end of the day faith is a funny thing. It turns up when you don't really expect it. It's like one day you realize that the fairy tale may be slightly different than you dreamed. The castle, well, it may not be a castle. And it's not so important happy ever after, just that its happy right now. See once in a while, once in a blue moon, people will surprise you , and once in a while people may even take your breath away."

Tomorrow morning, I'll walk into the University of Mississippi Medical Center for the last day of the "beginning" of my medical education. I'll walk out Tuesday a private practice physician, with the land of academia behind me.

If you happen to be one of the people I cross along my journey tomorrow, just smile and be a little more gentle. I'm piling a lot of memories in this 24 hours.

I'll start by parking where I parked exactly 8 years ago preparing for orientation to my first day of medical school - excited and terrified. I'll have to walk past that first classroom (where biochemistry owned me) and that bathroom I cried in a lot. Then I'll walk past the newborn office (I'll stop by there Tuesday morning to clean my desk off) much like I did many days during med school, praying I'd be behind that door someday.

As I journey towards the nursery for my last experience rounding (with Dr. Mink), i'll pass the Peds Lounge and offices... where I spent hours upon hours in the last 4 years, learning how to save other people - and myself. When we lost patients, when I lost family members... we loved on each other and held each other up behind those walls.

I'll spend the day and night with my littlest loves and some of my best coworkers. I wish I could tell you all exactly what I'd learned from you and what part you'd played in this journey, but I'm not strong enough. Just know I'll always have you all in my thoughts and prayers, and I'll always be grateful for the opportunity to love on babies with you.

Most of all, I'll have as many moments of quiet reflection as possible. In learning how to save others, I lost myself. But much more importantly, and much more proudly, God brought me back to a place of joy, blessing, and love.

I could pour my heart out for hours, and I'd never help you all understand what the last eight years has meant to me. From the day I answered God's call into medicine until tomorrow when He brings me back home to love on His people in my community, it's been a journey marked by unknown blessings that were so much bigger than anything I humanly could've imagined.

So I'll take one more moment to make a plea: If God isn't first in your life, put Him there. He will do amazing things more than you've ever imagined. If you're not sure how to do that, find me tomorrow. There's no greater send-off I'd like to give than you a life with my Eternal Creator. I'll love all of you forever - keep saving babies. And keep saving yourselves.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

God's greater plan

I've been struggling about how and when to make this post for quite a while. You see, I was one of those kids of always had my life all figured out.  I would grow up, be a neonatologist, and save all the babies in the world.

This is where the story changes.
This is where I get real with you.
This is where God comes in.

 I started fellowship, and I loved being with the babies. Around the same time I also fell in love with a long time best friend and  began to learn the joys of having children in my life that weren't just at work.  The relationship flourished, the babies grew, and I missed out. A lot.  Consistently. Time after time I found myself at work or crying and exhaustion that I couldn't be home or do what I wanted to do for myself or my family.

 This is where things get really tough. This is why I tell you that the girl with solid dreams forever contemplated quitting medicine altogether. These are the days I couldn't get out of bed. Depression and scary thoughts In overworked doctors are real.  They can happen to anyone you know and love.

That very  Day, I reached out to a friend who had been joking about going to work with for a while. Through a series of fortunate events and nothing short of God's greatest blessings, I'll be starting a new job in a few months at the children's clinic in Hattiesburg. I'll be near my  Family and friends, I'll work a fraction of the hours I do now, and I'll be taking care of myself.  Because no matter how much you love your job you have to come first.

 I'm sure all occasionally miss the hustle and bustle of the NICU, and I will always look back fondly on my memories. But I'm proud of myself for stepping out in faith and knowing there's so much more to life than what I committed myself to twenty years ago.

People don't change. Priorities do. I am so thankful to be old and wise enough to see it and yet young enough and fearless enough to follow through. I'm building a house, a practice, and a LIFE. God continues to be good to me every day. I can't wait to give back to the Hattiesburg community.

Welcome home to me. Both to my soul and my relocation.

-Dr Meg

Friday, September 18, 2015

The tough stuff

I just realized it's been a significant amount of time since I've posted. Not that residency is boring - quite the contrary - I just haven't felt the energy to de-sensitize information enough to let you all in. Until I realized I'm depriving you of the tough stuff, the God stuff, the everyday stuff. 

So if you're not in for a pretty long and somewhat depressing post involving lots of talk about dying and death, you may want to turn around now. But if you're up for it, let me show you how God is working in my life and the life of those around me.
I'm not sure if we've been experiencing more death than usual in our little world at the Children's Hospital, or if I'm just more aware of it since the death of my Mama. It seems like everywhere I've turned the last few months we've had to say goodbye to another innocent fighter gone too soon. And maybe it's just that I've been at children's long enough to know the regulars - The kids that fight harder than anyone you've ever met - taking countless breathing treatments today and praying for one more breath, filling their veins with poisonous chemicals and throwing their guts up, fighting rare diseases that even we as doctors don't understand.. But ultimately, they're healing always comes. When it's an earthly healing we rejoice with happy tears, ringing bells, celebrating with cakes and cookies and huge high fives, and watching these kids grow into adults with children of their own. 

Sometimes, against all odds, they truly win. But the truth is – God always does. There's so much healing that we can't say. When we struggle on earth and sob that we lost another baby, when we cry with parents or hold it together until we get to the dark corners in the back storage rooms and let it all fall apart, God wins. These babies don't struggle anymore. There are no more medicines. There are no more gasps for air. there are no more tumors. There are no more questions… Only God's answer. God's answer but he will always provide for our babies. God's answer that they were his first and I will be his forever. Gods hope and provision that we will see them again in their whole, healthy, happy states.

And in the in between times, while they struggle they teach us so much. I can't lie and say I haven't questioned why someone with a whole life ahead of them has to go to heaven before they learn to ride a bicycle, or even write their name.  But the truth is, for those of us who are believers, we know we are only here for a purpose. The purpose that some children can have in the light they can shine in just a few days is absolutely astonishing. The grown men and women who are brought to their knees to worship our Father, cry out to him, many for the first time in their lives because of the daily miracles in our baby's struggles. What a blessing to be there for the good days… But even more what a blessing to be there for the bad. You see, sometimes the things you can't change and up changing you. I know every day another kiddo shows more resilient than I'll ever had in my entire life. They are the winners. They are God's army. They are the hands and feet, the light. They minister without asking, without abandon, without question. They do it because it's all they know to do. Let us all be like the little children. Let us find grace in our struggles. Let us hold each other up instead of tear each other down. In a world filled with so much uncertainty, it is my daily hope and expectation that all the children I've come to love will meet me at Heaven's Gate. I absolutely cannot wait for the reunion.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Catching Up... A year in the life..

It's hard to know where to start this post after an entire year of residency. I sat down to blog a few times and came up empty handed. There was always so much to say that couldn't be said and so much I couldn't figure out how to get in text... but I figure one day, I'll be interested in how I felt my first year and since those memories will dull with time, I should probably get them down.

In a nutshell: WOW. God amazed me every. single. day. I learned more than I ever thought possible and still feel like I'm just scraping the surface. This kid-doctor thing isn't for sissies. There's a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and heartache - a lot of sleepless nights, a lot of losses, and a few wins that make it all worth it.

In general, intern year wasn't that bad. It's exhausting in a new way of exhaustion (even though you got to go home after 16 hours on call and didn't spend the night). I really started to enjoy my own clinic. I stayed in love with the NICU and fell in love with more than a few snotty-nosed, tear stained faces.

July 1 was a bit of a rude awakening because I started this year in the PICU. Once again, WOW. Almost unexplainable the changes that place will put forth in your heart, your practice, and your life. I'm finally recovering from the Q4 call (no longer limited to 16 hours... welcome to "big girl residency") and glad to have that month behind me.

This post was boring, I can assure you my last year has been nothing but. The secret parts of patient's lives that you are privy to and trusted with forever change who you are and how you practice. And occasionally, you realize you made a difference.

And that is worth everything.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

In the quiet of the night, you can hear the heart beat..

I've officially been "Olemissbabydoc, M.D.", for 42 days. It's still strange, still different... But I'm adjusting, along with my fellow interns. 

Many firsts have been had with many more to come. Night float month brought first orders, first pages, first uncertainty, first tears, and first reassurance that I'm exactly where I'm supposed to be and doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing. I couldn't have asked for a better upper level to share that first month with - A never left my side and never went to bed telling me to fend for myself. She helped me learn to trust my decisions and walk through the process. Although it was exhausting, I think we both learned a lot. No babies were harmed in the making of this intern. 

This month is an entirely different bird. I'm on cardiology elective - that means M-F, 8-4ish. Those are like, real people hours! I'm slightly overwhelmed at all the re-socializing (but loving it. Although I'm a loner by nature, NF was a little TOO lonely). There's a lot of conference-going and clinic time. On that note, I also started my own clinic and have been twice so far. Now THAT is a very weird experience. The first week I had an M1.5 working with me, this week an M3. I'm looking forward to being comfortable enough that I feel like I'm actually able to teach them something - right now I think I'm pretty pitiful at that (still learning to be the doctor). Once again, I've got fantastic mentors guiding the way. 

I quickly learned that I made the exact right decision on what to do with my life as well as where to train. It's a team sport, and my team ROCKS!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

The last month of limbo... the last month of freedom.

Graduation has come and gone. The hoopla, the long coat ceremony, the heavy velvet regalia, the after parties.

I woke up the following morning a doctor, no longer a medical student.
 Scratch that. No longer a STUDENT.
Yes, there's lots of learning involved in residency and being a doctor in general... but I will never, ever be a full time student again. As exciting as that was, it was still a tiny bit sad. No matter who will actually admit it, most of us must've liked school or we wouldn't have made it this far. The thought that that part of my life is officially over (when it's all I've ever known) is still strange.

Don't have too terribly much time to think it over though, as somehow the last week flew by and there's only two more before orientation kicks off, along with all the daytime exhaustion and night-time fun it can bring. I'll be working myself into a more "night" schedule towards the end of the month to prepare for night float July 1.

I've waited my whole life for this. Even though it's more than a little terrifying, I'm as ready as I'll ever be. Bring it!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Ready or not, here we go!

Long coat tomorrow night. Graduation Friday. WOAH. Family starts coming in tonight, friends and more family tomorrow. I'm soooo excited to celebrate with everybody and let them see the house!

At the same time as my grad celebration, we're having EK's 1st birthday party. The pupcakes are currently in the oven, the smash cake is done. This mom goes all out.

I've gotten into these make money from doing random things apps lately. iPoll and Surveys on the Go specifically. So far, SOTG is easier, and I'm making money from both, so pretty excited about that. Hit em up if you've got a few extra seconds of time :)

Happy Graduation week, everyone!